Our Physio and Bristol Manager Leanne discusses how you can prevent falls in older years.
Falls at home or in the community cause a huge number of injuries to people every week. It is one of the main causes of serious injury to older people including things like broken hips, pressure sores and chest infections. These injuries and the horrible experience of falling also leave behind anxiety and a fear of falling again. This can have a detrimental effect on a person’s activity levels and quality of life. This vicious cycle then impacts on strength and energy levels, has an impact on walking quality and worsens balance leading to a higher risk of further falls in the future.
I went to The Hawthorns Care Home in Clevedon, North Somerset to talk to the residents about ways of preventing falls and keeping active into older years. These two things are synonymous with healthy living and the best way to stay active and enjoy your lifestyle is to do daily exercise to keep your muscles strong, keep them flexible and to improve your balance with normal day-to-day activities. It may also benefit you to talk to your GP to review your medications and make sure you are not on too many, as they may be interacting with each other and causing fatigue and dizziness – two other big causes of falling. All GP’s will offer a medication review service to their patients.
Another point to tackle is the ‘what if’s’. What if I do fall? How will I get up? How will I prevent serious injury? Physiotherapists are experts in teaching methods of getting up off of the floor to patients. A method called the backwards-chaining method is regularly used to teach the steps you would commonly use to get up. This ensures that if you were to have a fall you have the confidence and strength to go through the well-known steps. This prevents the risk of a long lie on the floor and things such as pressure sores or a chest infection.
If you want to maintain your activity levels and independence into older years, contact a physiotherapist to show you methods for doing this. If mobility is an issue for you, our specialist physios are able to see you at home and we can often arrange the first appointment within 24 hours. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email email@example.com